Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mozzarella Salad with Oxheart Tomatoes

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Oxheart Tomato Salad with Mozzarella

After I published pictures of an unusual tomato in this post, many of you asked me what variety of tomato it actually was. I didn't know then, because as I mentioned in that post, I took the snaps at a friend's place, and she didn't know what they were called. In her comment, our fellow-blogger Linda was kind enough to point out that it could be an 'heirloom' variety. I had never heard of that term, and I definitely wanted to find out what exactly it was. So, I just found myself on the way to the vegetable vendor at the farmers' market in Düsseldorf's city centre one day. The same place where my friend had bought her tomato.

I was lucky. The French veggie vendor had some more of those tomatoes. To be precise, the 'Oxheart' or the 'cœur de bœuf' tomatoes. It is a variey of beefsteak tomatoes. The ones coming into Germany are grown in France. These tomatoes are grown in the USA as well. Has anybody of you come across it? There is this article on it on Wikipedia; it's in German. Unfortunately, there is none in English.

Anyway, after bringing home this tomato, when I cut it, I saw this beautiful pattern of compartments inside. The slices look like flowers, don't they? So, I dropped all ideas of chopping it up. I had to use those pretty slices just the way they were. The only thing I thought of making with it was the simple Tomato salad with Mozzarella. And that's what I made.

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From left to right: Mozzarella slices, Oxheart tomato slices


Recipe for Mozzarella Salad with Oxheart Tomatoes

Serves 2-3 .

Ingredients:

1 large Oxheart tomato OR two medium regular tomatoes
One ball of Mozzarella cheese (approx. 75g. - 100g. drained weight. I used the low-fat version with 8.5% total fat content.)
a few Basil leaves for garnishing

For the dressing:
2 tsp olive/walnut oil (I used walnut oil.)
a dash of white wine vinegar (optional)
3-4 Basil leaves, torn
salt & pepper to taste

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Clockwise from bottom left: fresh Basil leaves, tomato, pepper mill, white wine vinegar, walnut oil, salad dressing ready to be used

Method:

1. Cut the tomato(es) horizontally in not very thin slices. Arrange them on a serving plate.
2. Cut the Mozzarella in slices. Arrange the slices on top of the tomato slices.
3. Mix all ingredients listed separately to make the dressing.
4. Distribute the dressing with a spoon evenly over the arranged tomato and mozzarella slices.
5. Sprinkle some salt and freshly crushed pepper over it, if you like.
6. Garnish with some fresh Basil leaves. Serve.

This salad is one of the few dishes, which take hardly any time to prepare, but are full of flavour in every bite. Moreover, if the tomato slices are beautiful to look at, then nothing like it. :)

Since tomatoes are rich in anti-oxidants, I'd like to send this post as an early entry to Cate's ARF/5-a-day Tuesday. Nandita suggests that I should send it to Kalyn for her Weekend Herb Blogging event. So, I shall do that too.


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38 comments:

Ashwini said...

They are beautiful! Now how could the French (who are normally very poetic about such things) find it in their heart to call it an oxheart? It could have been anything floral non? :-(
So are these grilled and eaten only with steaks?
Love the salad.

Anupama said...

Fantastic tomatoes and fantastic salad too. I am going to try and find these in UK . The tomatoes are beautiful no doubt but anything that has the beautiful Mozarella in it has to taste divine.Thanx Vaishali

Neelu said...

Looks fantabulous, the combination of red white n green is awesome, tomatoes look beautiful with this shape. Simple salad

Krithika said...

I love this. It is so simple and so full of flavor. The cut tomatoes look so beautiful.

Meeta said...

Hey Vaishali, guess what we had that for dinner last night ... not with such a fancy tomato but some from Italy. This is such a simple but satidfying meal isn't it.
By the way I thought you'd like to take part in this little meme on my blog! Get to know you. I am really keen to see your answers.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a simple but great salad. The mozarella makes you feel guilty but with tomatoes like these... I will live with a little bit of guilt!!
- ThOrigAno

shilpa said...

Hey Vaishali, that looks soo cute :D.

indianadoc said...

Oops... seducing red!! bt what a name for it...never knew an ox's heart cd b so beautiful!!I'm not so salad savvy bt I think your salad is definitely a very welcome thing...

Linda said...

Hi Vaishali,

I'm so glad you discovered the name of that tomato -- thanks! Heirloom seeds are big business here. Common types are widely available; rarer varieties are sometimes produced in small quantities by organic and/or non-GMO farms. In winter I entertain myself reading about these things I could grow if I had a green thumb ;)

Here is a link to a page of 'oxheart' tomato varieties. I can't vouch for the company but the pictures are nice.

I love the way you arranged the salad. You're right, those flower slices are too pretty to chop. Looks gorgeous!

Priya said...

Hi Vishali,
The tomatoes look great,thanks for giving us all the info on them rite here..and I like ur recipe for the salad dressing..will try it out soon..:-)

Catherine said...

beautiful salad! this combo is one of my all-time favorites!

Nandita said...

this is one of the most beautiful recipe pictures on your site-Im sure with the dressing- it was both a visual and tastebud treat :) I have never seen a tomato in that shape though ! Guess you must also send it for Kalyn's weekend herb blogging-just for this beautiful tomato

Vaishali said...

Ashwini, I too wonder why the French call it that. Je ne sais pas. :) But hey, let's not forget there is this heart word in it. :)

Anupama, it is so true what you say about Mozzarella. Divine. No doubt.

Neelu, I forgot to mention that I used low-fat Mozzarella. Just thought I should let you know, so that the salad gets a higher rating from you. :)

Krithika, the tomato slices are indeed beautiful.

Hey Meeta, that's a cool meme. I'm sure you have checked out my answers already.

ThOrigAno, after all, you're not gonna get another life for eating this. You just have to make the most of the one you've got. Right? :)

Shilpa, is it cuter if I say that I made it for your bloggiversary party? :)

Indianadoc, this is a family blog. Can we talk about seduction an' all somewhere else, please? ;-) ;-)

Linda, after you pointed out the 'heirloom' thing, I did my research and found out that it is quite big in the US. Thank you so much for introducing something totally new to me. Thanks for the link too. Do you really like the arrangement? *wide grin*

Priya, you will definitely like this one. I assure you.

Catherine, this salad certainly deserves to be an all-time favourite, doesn't it?

Nandita, and to think that I didn't have to do anything to make the picture look pretty. It's just the natural colours that do the job. Sure I'll send it to Kalyn's event. Thanks for the suggestion.

Kalyn said...

It does look just wonderful. I have some heirloom tomatoes in my garden, but I haven't seen this type before.

Anonymous said...

Vaishali

The slices of tomatoes look fantastic and so is the salad....will definitely try it out.

The info on the tomato is very good indeed.

Any idea if u get these tomatoes in Uk

Vanda

Vineela said...

Hi Vaishali,
Nice presentation.
I wish to try that tomatoes.
Vineela

shilpa said...

Wow..that was for my bloggiversary??? Great...I am feeling like winning the "Oscar award" for cooking :D. Thanks you soooooooooo much :).

well..that Oscar award thing..I picked up from one of my friend. Whenever he cooks something tasty, he says 'I cooked --- today. It won Oscar award' :))

Neelu said...

Hehehehhehee :) yes yes I rate it even higher wit hthat :) lol U got a great sence of humor vaish

Aparna said...

oh Vishali, that was great game on 27th June.. i missed! :( Too much busy with packing up. I am just missing all you guys!!

Aparna said...

That was one lovely looking tomato i have ever seen!!

Vaishali said...

Kalyn, I need to check out your site for the heirloom tomatoes that you grow.

Sorry, Vanda, I have no idea, whether these are available in the UK. Maybe both of us can do some research on that, and let each other know?

Thanks for the nice words, Vineela.

Hey Shilpa, I like that 'Oscar Award' thing. Funny.

Thank God. It feels so much better to have got a better rating from you, Neelu. :)

We are missing you too, Aparna. I hope packing & moving do not tire you out. As for the guessing game, there'll be more. I assure you.

Puspha said...

Ahh!!! I love mozzy salad. Lecker!!!

shammi said...

Absolutely right... this gorgeous looking salad is the ONLY thing you could have made with those beautiful tomatoes!

Vaishali said...

Pushpa, thanks for stopping by.

So you approve of the idea, Shammi? Aaah, now I feel much better. :)

indianadoc said...

sorry abt it vaish!

Tanna said...

This is really a beauty. Great info on the tomato.

Eurodog said...

I came upon your blog quite by accident. In fact I do not know how. It does not matter. I am into dogs. I know that's strange but I was intrigued by the ox heart tomatoes. One of my new blog friends who lives in Sicily prepared the same salad last week. I live in Brussels, Belgium, just opposite the Indian Embassy actually and just today I came across ox heart tomatoes in our local supermarket. There was no label or sign so I am not sure what they are really called in French. I have my doubts about "coeur de boeuf". I wonder if they are not called "tomate marmande". Perhaps you could suggest this to your greengrocer when you next see him. Might he throw his arms up in the air? If he does, then I might be wrong. I am intrigued and will look into this closer and report back if I may.
Best regards from Brussels where it is raining. Not doing our tomatoes any good.ù
Here is the link to my Sicilian friend who is actually British.

http://sicilyscene.blogspot.com/

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'm eurodog's Sicilian friend. You have a lovely blog here and great photos. I'll be back. What a coincidence that I posted on these tomatoes last week! I had never seen them before.
Interesting you found them in Belgium, eurodog. The marmande looks similar in my Larousse Gastronomique but I'm not sure. i'll be fascinated if you find out the answer.

Anonymous said...

it's called INSALATA CAPRESE (national salad of the Island of Capri), just google it, it's very popular in Italy! and the oxheart tomatos are Italian, too, by the way.

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